Windermere FC's anger as pitch damaged on 'weekly basis'

Catherine Mackinlay, Lancs Livein Football

A Cumbrian football club has expressed anger after its pitch was churned up by a vehicle - the latest in a series of incidents causing costly damage to the site.

Windermere FC says that it is having ongoing problems with cars being driven across the field and dogs digging up holes.

The latest incident is believed to have happened in the early hours of Sunday morning (October 4), when a vehicle was driven across the length of the pitch following heavy rainfall - damaging the terrain.

The pitch is at Queen's Park which is a public park however the area is large and also contains a cricket field, skate park and tennis courts.

Although owned by South Lakeland District Council, the club has spent over £6,000 developing the pitch in the past two years.

There are six signs around the perimeter to remind visitors to the park that the area is a football pitch however it is continually disrespected and incidents that ruin its surface reportedly occur on a regular basis.

Connor Gilbert, a Windermere FC committee member, said: "They appear to have driven on the wettest part of it after the heavy rainfall at the weekend, it's that deep I'm surprised they didn't get stuck! We played a match on Saturday afternoon however when we discovered it on Sunday morning no one had idea who had done it."

"This makes us think it was done in the early hours. We followed the tracks to see where they lead but they just lead off to the public road. There's houses alongside the park so we think someone's used the pitch as a short cut."

The club has frequently had problems with dog owners who choose to meet in the centre of pitch too.

In July of this year fertiliser was spread on the grass and despite several signs warning that the substance can be harmful to dogs, owners still used the pitch as a meeting point - which has further created problems with dog mess.

The team also discovered over a dozen holes dotted around the area where dogs had dug holes, some of which were six inches deep.

Connor said: "Just before last Saturday's match I went around and had to clear up seven pieces of dog mess before the game. That creates an added danger that players may slip and come into contact with it. We would appreciate anyone walking their dogs to avoid that area and maybe even go up School Knott instead which is only around 200 yards up the road."

"We're a bit gutted really. We've spent a lot of money on this pitch for a small club and we don't have a groundsmen. It's the lads that play that maintain it. It's almost every week something happens. We really don't want to have to fence it off because this is a public park, but we may have no choice if this keeps happening."

The club are still appealing for information about the vehicle that may have driven across the grass on Saturday night or in the early hours of Sunday morning.

You can read the original article from LancsLive HERE

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